With an application strategy, IT departments have to document the various processes in an organisation, such as invoicing a supplier, and the IT applications that support this.
IT staff can then work with business units to agree their short-, medium- and long-term IT requirements. According to Forrester, this activity will help to give an overview of IT projects within an organisation over the next six to 12 months. It will also show the IT director which projects are considered a priority for each business unit.
Careful planning will help to maximise the benefits of new applications and also assist organisations with managing their sprawling IT infrastructure, Forrester said in reports on application planning published in the past two months.
Application planning has become increasingly used by IT directors at financial services firms who find themselves in a highly competitive environment and under pressure from their boards to do more than simply cut costs from their IT budgets.
"A UK-based bank spoke of a myriad of projects working on small aspects of the business - and the challenge to align all these projects with the business without increasing functional redundancy and complexity," Forrester said in its report.
"Enterprises recognise that they have to consolidate business requirements from distinct business divisions and avoid isolated application development activities. A holistic approach, supplemented by a more granular perspective on requirements, enables IT organisations to consolidate isolated divisional IT efforts."